The film Gran Turismo has started production. In a tweet, Sony Pictures confirmed that filming for the David Harbour-directed film adaptation is underway, alongside a premise that takes a real-life approach, as previously reported. Directed by Neill Blomkamp (District 9), the film is based on the inspiring story of true Gran Turismo player Jann Mardenborough, who rose through the ranks through a series of gaming competitions, eventually joining the big leagues as a as a professional pilot. Sony is planning a theatrical release for Gran Turismo on August 11, 2023.
While the Gran Turismo games rely on challenges and racing circuits, Sony plans to add a unique twist to the upcoming film, incorporating the story of British racing driver Jann Mardenborough, who launched his career competing in the GT Academy training program. In the film, Harbor is attached to play an unnamed mentor, a retired racing driver, who guides the youngster, played by Archie Madekwe (Midsommar), on the path to success. Whether the latter bears the name “Mardenborough” remains to be seen. For now, there’s only one behind-the-scenes photo, featuring four Nissan GT-Rs lined up in a row, with the shingle emblazoned with a poorly colored Gran Turismo logo – a target for social media ridicule.
Filming is currently underway on #GranTurismoMovie – based on the true and inspiring story of a Gran Turismo gamer, Jann Mardenborough, who won a series of gaming competitions leading him to become a true professional racing driver. 🎬🏎 pic.twitter.com/gV13gEg2G5
— Sony Pictures (@SonyPictures) November 12, 2022
Speaking to Collider about the Gran Turismo movie, Harbor teased a level of “viscerality” to it. “Neill is such a cool guy and such a great director that it’s been a real joy to work on this movie, and this movie is going to be… Don’t talk about what you expect, with him at the helm, this movie is visceral, to this video game world that is so cool. I can’t wait for you guys to see this movie. Yeah. Sim racing, man, who knew? These guys are amazing,” he said. Turismo was born in 1997, selling over 85 million units worldwide in its 25-year history, making it the best-selling PlayStation video game franchise.The franchise is revered for its visuals highly detailed and physics of its vehicles, which mimic a sense of realism, it is devoid of any narrative aspect, which makes Sony’s approach to the film fresher.
The Gran Turismo movie also stars Orlando Bloom (The Lord of the Rings movies), Darren Barnet (Love Hard), Djimon Hounsou (Shazam!), Geri Halliwell-Horner, member of the Spice Girls, Daniel Puig, Josha Stradowski and Thomas Kretschman (Westworld). Jason Hall (American Sniper) and Zach Baylin (King Richard) are the adaptation’s co-writers.
Gran Turismo is pushing Sony to adapt its popular video game franchises into film and television adaptations. Major projects include Amazon’s God of War series and Netflix’s Horizon Zero Dawn – the latter of which will be helmed by The Umbrella Academy creator Steve Blackman.
Earlier this month, HBO set a January 16, 2023 release date for The Last of Us series, with Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey leading the way. The nine-episode show is co-written by the game’s original writer, Neil Druckmann, and Craig Mazin (Chernobyl), and will premiere on HBO, HBO Max, and Disney+ Hotstar, depending on where you live.
The PlayStation Productions unit also plans to create film adaptations for zombie survivor game Days Gone and Gravity Rush, the sci-fi odyssey based on a character with gravity-defying superpowers.
The Gran Turismo movie is set to hit theaters on August 11, 2023.